Occupation: Aditya Rawal, Shalini Pandey, Vijay Varma and Jatin Sarna
Director: Ranjan Chandel
Rating: 2 stars (out of 5)
A trio of newcomers to Bollywood – director Ranjan Chandel (one of the authors of Anurag Kashyap) Mukkabaaz), Leading actor Aditya Rawal (Paresh Rawal’s son) and female leading actress Shalini Pandey (last seen in Arjun Reddy in Telugu) – join forces to create an interreligious back country story of damned love that weaves in and out of the clichés of the genre. The mild surprises it occasionally raises (including a big one at its peak) aren’t enough to help Bamfaad, an original Zee5 film presented by Anurag Kashyap, floods the air that sticks to it no matter what.
Neither Aditya Rawal nor Shalini Pandey, who are serious enough not to look completely at the sea, exude the kind of scorching on-screen presence that exudes the power of youthful passion and passion in love with this story of a Muslim boy, Nasir, set by Allahabad. can bring in Jamal, who falls in love with a Hindu girl, Neelam. The first letter of our names is the same, Nasir says to Neelam when the two speak to each other for the first time. The boy obviously couldn’t ignore that one letter of the alphabet is the only one they share. There is a wide gap that separates them.
But wait a minute, the religious divide is not what Bamfaad is particularly interested in. There is a stray, factual reference to “love jihad”, but this element of the plot is never nearly central to the film’s narrative arc. Neither family nor community are against the flourishing affair between Neelam and Nasir. Problems arise from elsewhere, from a place where religious identity and its complications no longer matter. This anodyne approach robs the film of the opportunity to explore the huge social divide that young lovers can’t shake off, even if they don’t have much confusion in their own thoughts about what to expect.
The underworld of the small town is controlled by two men – Nasir’s father Shahid Jamal (Vijay Kumar) and a meek gangster Jigar Fareedi (Vijay Verma). Both are politically ambitious and will do anything to stay in the good books of the local legislature. Bamfaad puts this large picture in the background of the story of Neelam and Nasir. Unfortunately, it stays right there, immobile, ineffective, and fades completely when lovers are ready to take a shot for their lives.
Neelam’s plight is far more interesting. She is in the claws of Jigar, who offers her all the comfort she needs, but treats her like his personal property without being brazenly abusive. Her relationship with the racket is rooted in her vulnerability, an attribute that Shalini Pandey conveys with a certain degree of conviction (and shades of her performance in Arjun Reddy).
The male protagonist is cast in the shape of a Prince Charming – Rawal’s general behavior may be heroic, but he’s an average guy every inch – wiry of built-up, wavy hair, nondescript clothing – who has to save the virgin in need. A massive chestnut.
Slight turns come both in the form of Neelam’s contradictory impulses and in the form of Nasir’s revolt against authority. At first glance, Neelam is a lively, free-spirited girl who always seems to be in control. She is often the one who takes the initiative to determine the form and direction in which her relationship with Nasir will go. But when her background story emerges about the parts she wants to reveal, it becomes clear that she is no more than a cage bird, albeit on her own.
Nasir is a full-blown rebel, but his actions are limited to helping a classmate cheat on an exam or woo a girl, fling a stone onto a beehive while the headmaster walks under it, or at least in street fights to jump provocation. In the worst case, he is a spoiled brat. He doesn’t become an unstoppable growling and sinister killing machine when faced with the reality of Neelam’s connections to Jigar Fareedi. Instead, he flees with his lover to Lucknow on the first bus.
Although Bamfaad was not filmed in Allahabad, but tries to capture the “sights and sounds” of the city through the language the characters speak and the locations highlighted in the story (Rani Mandi, Tharethi Bazaar, Khusro Bagh). and the repeated references to Ganga and Prayag. If only the screenplay had thought a little more about the tense love story and its malicious consequences and delivered the plot with greater weight, Bamfaad could have become the explosive story of star-cross lovers who want it to be.
In a climatic moment, Nasir Neelam warns that the air is poisonous here. However, the poisonous, suffocating environment he alludes to is barely noticeable. When Nasir is on the run, Jigars lackeys start a surface search. Her contempt for the refugee is understandable, but her anger has none of the intensity that could scorch Nasir in love, let alone the whole city.
Bamfaad is an overwhelming drama that pulls too many blows and is nothing more than a wet detonator at a bargain. It simmers rather than simmer and hisses rather than crackle.